It is no secret, I LOVE the Winelands and have plenty of favourite wine estates but there are a few that are extra special for different reasons as they are all so unique in what they offer. Here are my Top 10 in Stellenbosch and the Helderberg, in no particular order. Some are child friendly and some only for the adults.
Vergelegen is an impressive estate to visit. The exquisite gardens, historical Homestead and Library, ancient Camphor trees over 300 years old, spectacular views of the Hottentots Holland mountains, incredible kids play area, world-class restaurants and award winning wines all contribute to the wonderful, unique experience the estate offers. Rich in heritage with its first vineyards being planted in 1700 by Williem Adriaan van der Stel, it has been under the ownership of some of the world’s greatest explorers and visionaries. Sample their world-renowned handcrafted award winning wines in the Tasting Centre. Cellar Tours, and Heritage and Garden Tours are offered daily. There are two outstanding restaurants, Stables is a more relaxed bistro near to the amazing play area and Camphors Restaurant is a fine dining experience. Picnics are available in summer from November to April. The magical and mystical Camphor Forest is the location for picnics where tables and chairs are provided. A visit to the world-class Vergelegen Estate is a memorable experience. Click here to read more.
Lourensford Road, Somerset West | Tel: 021– 847 2100 | www.vergelegen.co.za
2. Morgenster Wine & Olive Estate
The 300-year old Morgenster Estate is, located in the beautiful Helderberg Wine Region in Somerset West and is a thriving blend of Italian and French culture. They are renowned for producing award-winning Bordeaux-styled red wines, Italian varietal wines and the BEST Extra Virgin Olive Oil in the world. 95 at Morgenster is the estates acclaimed restaurant serving authentic Italian food and excels in all areas. It is the perfect combination of exceptional food and fine wines in a romantic setting. Click here to read more.
Vergelegen Road, Somerset West | Tel: 021 – 852 1738 | www.morgenster.co.za
3. Peter Falke Wine Estate
The exquisite, stylish boutique winery Peter Falke Wines in Stellenbosch, nestled against the majestic slopes of the Helderberg Mountains is the perfect picturesque setting to this idyllic estate. The estate dates back to the 18th century and on arrival you will be met by traditional Cape Dutch architecture and beautiful blooming Bougainvillea, but don’t be led astray from the traditional exterior, the interior is ultra-modern with exquisite décor and dazzling chandeliers that add a stylish touch of chic elegance to the estate. The expansive lawns are ideally setup with bean bags for a lingering afternoon with friends and family of outstanding wines accompanied by delicious cheese and charcuterie platters, European-style salads and nachos. They are open to 7pm in summer and it is the ideal spot for summer sundowners. Click here to read more.
Annandale Road, Stellenbosch | Tel: 021 – 881 3677 | www.peterfalkewines.com
4. Tokara Wine Estate
The beautiful and elegant Tokara Estate offers visitors a unique combination of award-winning wines, an outstanding fine dining restaurant, tasting room, a charming child-friendly Delicatessen, brandy and olive oils, and beautiful fine art and sculptures. Click here to read more on the Deli.
Helshoogte Road (R310), Stellenbosch | Tel: 021 – 808 5950 | www.tokara.co.za
5. Waterford Estate
Visiting Waterford Wine Estate is absolute bliss, driving down the estate road lined with citrus orchids you feel like you have been transported to another world. It is a complete unique experience with a Mediterranean feel, styled along the classic Bordeaux chateaus of France with a terracotta design. The Tasting Room has comfortable couches or you can sit on the spacious, tranquil stone veranda, both the perfect setting for a slow-paced afternoon of fine quality wine tasting. The Chocolate and Wine Pairing is sensational and will definitely be a highlight. The estate offers a unique two-hour Wine Drive where you can sample their award-winning wines in the vineyards in a safari type vehicle, while taking in the breath-taking views of the Helderberg Mountains.
Blaauwklippen Road, Stellenbosch | Tel: 021 – 880 5300 | www.waterfordestate.co.za
6. Marianne Wine Estate
The boutique winery Marianne Wine Estate in Stellenbosch is a hidden gem. It is a winery with distinction for the finer things with a French twist, it was a wonderful discovery. It is welcoming to families and on a sunny day you can sit out on the lawn in front of the tasting room to enjoy your wine tasting next to the kid’s jungle gym. To add to the French experience, you can play a game of Boules. The outstanding and charming Floreal Brasserie on the Marianne Wine Estate is the perfect setting for a relaxed lunch with little ones or a fine dining experience with your loved one. There is no compromise on standard this is the perfect combination of a fine dining experience in a child friendly setting, and it won’t break the bank. Click here to read more.
Valley Road, Stellenbosch (off the R44, exit 47 from the N1) | Tel: 021 – 8755040 | www.mariannewines.com
7. Waterkloof Wine Estate
Waterkloof Wine Estate was born in 2003 after a 10-year search by UK wine merchant Paul Boutinot for the perfect vineyard to produce fine wine. Situated on ‘top of a hill’ on the slopes of the Schapenberg, Waterkloof is recognised for their dedicated biodynamic approach and environmentally responsible farming. Waterkloof is one of the few estates to adopt biodynamic viticulture, combined with minimal intervention winemaking, allowing them to produce wines of vitality and a strong sense of origin. Waterkloof aim to produce ‘honest’ wines that truly express their unique site on the Schapenberg. Click here to read more.
Sir Lowry’s Pass Road, Somerset West | Tel: 021 – 858 1292 | www.waterkloofwines.co.za
8. Uva Mira Mountain Vineyards
This family owned boutique winery is a gem. Located on the slopes of Annandale Road in the Stellenbosch Winelands, right at the end (follow the signboards as the road splits) is unique. Taste their award-winning outstanding handcrafted wines in the elevated tasting room and enjoy spectacular views of the Helderberg mountain range and ocean views across False Bay and Table Bay.
Annandale Road, Stellenbosch | Tel: 021 – 880 1683 | www.uvamira.com
9. Guardian Peak
Located in the beautiful Stellenbosch Winelands on Annandale Road, one of my favourite places in the Winelands, you will find this fabulous estate with its outstanding restaurant. Breathtaking views of the mountains and vineyards make this a perfect setting for a romantic lunch or dinner or a relaxed meal with friends or family. Click here to read more.
Annandale Road, Stellenbosch | Tel: 021 – 881 3899 | www.guardianpeak.com
10. Delaire Graff Estate
The ultimate in luxury Delaire Graff Estate is sure to impress from the moment you arrive at its grand entrance. On arrival you will be graced with beautiful landscaped gardens and incredible sculptures welcoming you to this world-class estate of luxury. Surrounded by breathtaking views of the Stellenbosch Valley Mountains and vineyards this is the perfect setting for a day of elegant wine tasting or a decadent dining experience.
Helshoogte Rd, Stellenbosch | Tel: 021 – 885 8160 | www.delaire.co.za